Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Participate. — Cast Your Vote.

on November 5, 2013


The day is here. It is finally here. Today is the Tuesday after the first Monday of November.

Election Day 2013.

And here are your Action Challenges for this day:

Participate. Vote.

No matter what side you are on, Blue or Red, Donkey or Elephant, Republican or Democrat.

Very simply: Just Go. Vote.

It is our right. And it’s the right thing to do.

Personally, I love to vote. I love to walk through the line of volunteers in the cold at the local high school. Some of them I recognize from different times and places around this small town. We smile and nod and sometimes I spend a few seconds searching the depths of my mind for their names and how I know them. (Yes, this is how bad my memory is these days.)

There are some in red and some in blue. It feels like a bit of a parade, walking through the last of the yard signs before it clears as we get closer to the door. I traditionally accept the ballot forms and handouts from both parties, just because it seems like the polite thing to do.

It’s too late for arguing. It’s too late for debating. This is go time. Vote time.

As I get closer to the door to the auditorium, I toss the handouts in the garbage. I know it’s a waste. We should recycle these. I’ll work on that someday.

Once inside the doors, I love to approach the table of older ladies and retired civics and government teachers. I proudly display my driver’s license, when/if asked. But you should know, I always have my registered voter card with me as well. They never ask for it. We are a very small town after all. They do ask for my name and I tell them and let them know it will most likely be next to last on the list. My best friend/partner/hubby will be the last. They take out their wooden ruler and line it up with my name to double check that I am indeed in the right place to vote. I love that move right there. It is simple and old school and somehow comforting. A wooden ruler. Keeping the lines straight.

They hand me a little worn blue card with a number on it and I am told where to stand to wait my turn. I’m never concerned, there is never a long line and soon it is my turn.

“Next.” I hand over my card to the booth attendant and she holds the blue drape curtain open for me. Ok. Ok. I don’t think these are there anymore, but I miss them and I like to pretend that they still are. Now its just a 3-walled cubby kind of enclosure next to a wall.

I will pull this now imaginary curtain closed. I want my privacy. I take my time. Really, I like to make it last. Seriously, I wait all year to get to do this, why would I rush it?! I like to look it all over. I read through my choices and options. I click on my selected positions and candidates. I check them twice.

Another admission here. I miss the old school way of voting. I miss the heavy blue drape curtain that went almost to the floor, so you could just see people’s shoes behind it. I miss the little black handles on the screen that you could actually turn to the left and a little check mark would appear by your candidate. I actually miss pulling the old school lever with the red-tipped handle. It made this awesome mechanical punching of the card sound with a simultaneous dinging of a bit of an obnoxious bell. The whole experience was so much climactic than the touch screen computer these days. Thanks a lot stupid hanging chad nonsense of 2000. Ruined everything. 🙂

Now, instead of a bell, you get some kind of warning message, like, “Are you sure you want to do this?! Check your answers one more time!” Then click the large VOTE button. I don’t know if there is a ding or not. I still hear one in my head. I think there is a message, like, “Good Job. You have voted. You good and faithful American citizen, You.” Or something like that.

I love finally peeking out from behind ‘the curtain’, and I swear the lovely lady gives me a look that reads, “What took you so long?” That is when I smile. Because I know I get a present for my good deed. I’m like a kid who is looking anxiously at the bank teller in the drive through lane, hoping she will see me in the backseat and put a sucker (or lollipop for those not in the South!) in with the cash withdrawal for my Mom. Yes, I do want my “I Voted.” sticker. It is my proof. It is my message for the rest of the world for the rest of the day. I did it. I voted. Have you?

Then we wait. We look forward to the evening when the returns start, well returning. We watch CNN and local news as the ticker posts updates and percentages. It is all very exciting actually. The wait. The anticipation for the winner to be announced.

But this year. This year is a just a little more exciting. The anticipation is just a little more intense. Because this year, the best friend/partner/hubby is actually a candidate. Yes. His name will be on the ballot when I show up today.

So now it will take me even longer to vote because I will be in there taking pictures of the ballot screen today, too.

I’m very proud of him. He has shown up. He is participating. Lots of people talk politics, complain about politics, judge and coach from the easy seats. But very few of us are willing to throw the proverbial hat into the proverbial ring. He did this. He decided this was something he wanted to do. He followed the advice of “Either do it or stop talking about it.”

He participated in every step of this. He collected signatures. He wrote his own literature. He worked the social media. He made his own brochures and stickers. He designed and printed a single banner and built a frame for the back of his truck. He parked it in different places. He even painted his own yard signs. He didn’t run with a large budget, just a willingness to try. To participate in the process.

I am very proud of him.  X and Y are very proud of him.

And today, we all get to vote.

Whoever wins these races, for Governor, for Delegate, for Supervisor, for School Board, know this: There is work to be done. There is always work to be done. And on November 6th, we start. We accept the new leadership, celebrate or lick our wounds, and we get started.

Red or Blue.

That’s what we do.

Vote. Let’s All, Go. Do that.



2 responses to “Participate. — Cast Your Vote.

  1. Jan Francis says:

    I loved this post. I love that you love to vote as much as I do! I wish I could have voted for Tom today…..but I live in the wrong county.

  2. rarasaur says:

    There is most definitely work to be done. I love your message! 😀 (Side tip: When you write a timely post like this one, you can tag it WPRightNow for more visiting power. 🙂 )

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